Ancient Thrace and Orphism in Southeast Europe, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria

The oldest book in the World and of Golden Etruscan Orphic Book from Bulgaria

by Nataša Pantović

An ancient book comprising of six pages of 24  karat gold (measuring 5 x 4.5 centimetres) bound together by gold rings was donated to the Museum by an anonymous 87 year old Bulgarian man from Macedonia who had discovered the treasure in a tomb unearthed 60 years in southwestern Bulgaria. According to Elka Penkova, Head of the museum's archaeology department, the golden book is the oldest complete book in the world, dating to 600 BC.

The Golden Book is dedicated to the Ancient Greek God of Music Orpheus 

etruscan-gold-book-thracian-prayer-book 6000BC Bulgaria 2

Etruscan Gold book Thracian prayer 600 BC Bulgaria 

This is a funeral book made for an aristocrat of the Orpheus cult.

The most popular cults were the Dionysian mysteries, which came to Greece from Thrace, along with the cult of Orpheus and the Orphic mysteries.

Perperikon in southern Bulgaria is a real city-temple, with the stone altars, dedicated to the God of wine and sexual ecstasy known by the Greeks as Dionysus, or Bacchus by the Romans. Orpheus, the Thracian’s musician god, according to legend was a disciple of Dionysus, but had argued against practices of orgies in the name of Apollo, the god of reason. He was murder by the maenads, the female followers of Dionysus. Orpheus death was considered a sacrifice to redeem mankind for its sins.

Orpheus leading Eurydice from the Underworld. Jean Baptiste Camille Corot 1796-1875

Orpheus leading Eurydice from the Underworld. Jean Baptiste Camille Corot  1796-1875

Check also Derveni Papyrus and Orphism

Some archaeologists believe that Orpheus could have been a real person who resided in the Rhodope Mountains, a Dionysian priest, an initiate of Egyptian mysteries. His cult proclaimed asceticism, was against sacrifice, and taught the transmigration of souls. His followers, including Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle and Alexander speak of the soul’s capacity to experience the divine. The initiated students had learned to break free, resurrect and experience happiness in the afterlife.

Check also The Art of Dying Well from Jung to Egypt to Malta

Ancient Greek Orpheus, and rituals prayer book 600 BC

According to mythology, Orpheus descended into the underworld to retrieve his dead wife, Eurydice, and did so through the Devil’s Throat, a cave in the Rhodope Mountains, of south-eastern Bulgaria. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras is associated with Orphism that has originated in Thracia, in southern Italy and among the neighbouring tribes in Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece.

The golden book full of mystical words and images including a horse, a horseman, a Siren, a lyre, and soldiers has been authenticated by experts in Sofia and London as a genuine 600 BC artefact

etruscan-gold-book-thracian-prayer-book 600 BC Bulgaria

Etruscan gold book Thracian prayer book 600 BC Bulgaria

Golden Orphism Book is a Thracian golden artefact with total weight of 100 grams. Its contents are related to the Orphism, which existed in the Thracian and Hellenistic world. Illustrations of priests, horse-rider, a mermaid, a harp and soldiers within the golden book is now in the National Historical Museum in Sofia.

Before his trip to the under-world, visit to the dead, Orpheus had been a good musician, but he returned as a prophet and brought the knowledge to the Thracians, centuries before Christ.

Orpheus had to "die" to come back to life transformed. His rituals mention turning water into wine.

thracians-orpheus-myth

Thracians Orpheus Myth wall fresco 300 BC

The Thracian burial rite images speak of the afterlife and immortality of the soul. The Valley of the Thracian Kings, with over 500 burial hills are in the realm of the Odrisios (500 - 400 BC), ruled by the King III Seuthes. The Thracian funeral rites had many rituals in common with the Egyptian one, especially the idea of resurrection and an afterlife.

The Greek poet Hesiod narrates: “ When a husband dies, his wives, which are many for each one, argue in competition... The wife who comes out victorious... will be beheaded by a kin hand over the grave of her husband and is buried beside him, while the ones who lost the case, that is for them the greatest infamy, remain mourning they misfortune”.

Ancient Greek Herodotus tell us of the burial practice of breaking favourite items, whatever was destroyed during funeral rites would become useful for the afterlife. Death was considered the beginning of a new life. On this trip, they needed to carry everything they would need. On this trip, they also carried books with the magic inscription to communicate with Gods and spirits.

The Etruscans, one of Europe's most mysterious ancient peoples, have migrated from Lydia, in modern western Turkey, settling in northern Italy nearly 3,000 years ago. They were wiped out by the conquering Romans in the fourth century BC. Yet  in  the  Classical  and  Hellenistic  periods  of  ancient  Greek  history, they inhabited the parts of Romania, Bulgaria,  Greek  Thrace, Turkey, Serbia, the Republic of Macedonia. There were Thracian populations on a number of Aegean islands and in the core territory of Hellas. During the Roman Imperial period, they were in  the  city  of  Rome  itself  and  Italy,  some were living in  Egypt. By  the  mid 400 BC,  Philip  II,  the  king  of  Macedonia,  imposed  Macedonian  domination  over  Thrace.  The long Roman conquest started by the end of the 200  BC. The ancient Thracian language is almost completely unknown.

The Oldest preserve Book in the World, at the National Historical Museum, in Sofia, Bulgaria. The video was aired by BTV in Bulgaria 

We are still waiting for the translation of the Book.

Perhaps it will reseble the Lord's Prayer - 

Πάτερ=Father;ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου=Hallowed be thy Name;

ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου=Thy kingdom come;

τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δίδου ἡμῖν τὸ καθ᾿ ἡμέραν=Give us this day our daily bread;

καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰς ἁμαρτίας ἡμῶν=And forgive us our trespasses,

καὶ γὰρ αὐτοὶ ἀφίομεν παντὶ ὀφείλοντι ἡμῖν=as we forgive them that trespass against us;

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν=And lead us not into temptation.

Relation to Egyptian Prayer from The Coming Into Day Book of the Dead -

There are similarities between the Lord's Prayer and The Judgement of the Dead (Ch.125) in the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

Janzen, W. "Old Testament Ethics" 1994 Westminster/John Knox Press

Address to the gods of the underworld
Hail, gods, who dwell in the house of the Two Truths.
I know you and I know your names.
Let me not fall under your slaughter-knives,
And do not bring my wickedness to Osiris, the god you serve.
Let no evil come to me from you.
Declare me right and true in the presence of Osiris,
Because I have done what is right and true in Egypt.

Or a Greek version - 

The Ancient Greek Numerical System Pythagoras and The divine number, the holy holy Tetractys, we find as a symbol expressi

ὦ Ζεῦ͵ πάτερ Ζεῦ

 O Zeus, father Zeus,

σὸν μὲν οὐρανοῦ κράτος͵

 Yours is the Kingdom of Heaven,

σὺ δ΄ ἔργ΄ ἐπ΄ ἀνθρώπων ὁρᾶις

 and you watch over men's deeds,

λεωργὰ καὶ θεμιστά

 both the crafty and the just,

σοὶ δὲ θηρίων ὕβρις τε καὶ δίκη μέλει.

 and You are who intently sets mortal beasts' hubris and justice.
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